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Lyr Req: Give Me a Home among the Gum Trees

GUEST,katie 20 Jul 00 - 11:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jul 00 - 04:04 PM
Callie 20 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM
Helen 20 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,John 21 Jul 00 - 01:30 AM
alison 21 Jul 00 - 01:38 AM
Joe Offer 21 Jul 00 - 03:36 AM
alison 21 Jul 00 - 04:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jul 00 - 08:47 PM
Helen 22 Jul 00 - 04:20 AM
Callie 22 Jul 00 - 04:45 AM
robroy 22 Jul 00 - 10:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 00 - 11:50 AM
alison 23 Jul 00 - 12:39 AM
Callie 23 Jul 00 - 07:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 00 - 08:01 PM
KT 24 Jul 00 - 12:49 AM
Callie 24 Jul 00 - 01:32 AM
Bob Bolton 24 Jul 00 - 02:11 AM
Bob Bolton 24 Jul 00 - 02:15 AM
Callie 24 Jul 00 - 02:28 AM
Bob Bolton 24 Jul 00 - 02:45 AM
Callie 24 Jul 00 - 03:28 AM
Helen 25 Jul 00 - 12:18 AM
Bob Bolton 25 Jul 00 - 03:14 AM
Helen 25 Jul 00 - 07:45 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Jul 00 - 11:47 PM
Helen 26 Jul 00 - 01:39 AM
Bob Bolton 26 Jul 00 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Rowan 22 Sep 06 - 12:25 AM
Bob Bolton 22 Sep 06 - 02:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Sep 06 - 07:27 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Sep 06 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Rowan 22 Sep 06 - 10:41 PM
Andrez 23 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM
Dave Roberts 24 Sep 06 - 04:02 AM
Bob Bolton 24 Sep 06 - 04:56 AM
Dave Roberts 24 Sep 06 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Rowan 24 Sep 06 - 07:02 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Sep 06 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,Rowan 25 Sep 06 - 03:41 AM
Joybell 25 Sep 06 - 06:57 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Sep 06 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Rowan 26 Sep 06 - 01:32 AM
Joybell 26 Sep 06 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Rowan 26 Sep 06 - 06:58 PM
Joybell 28 Sep 06 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,jdd 17 Feb 07 - 07:52 PM
Muttley 17 Feb 07 - 08:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Feb 07 - 09:01 PM
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Subject: to an australian song
From: GUEST,katie
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 11:44 AM

i was just in australia and learned a couple lines to this song, but i'd like to have the rest of the lyrics as well as the title and artist... here are the lines i do know: (and I'm not sure if they're absolutely correct)

"i want a home beneth the gum trees with lots of plum trees, a sheep or two and a kangaroo a clothes line out the back, and an old rocking chair.. "

if anybody can help i'd rreeeeeaaally appreciate it.. you can also e-mail me at: katie3212@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 04:04 PM

You could try this Australian song site. If you don't find the one you're looking for, you will find lots of songs you'd be looking for, if you knew they were there to look for.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Callie
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM

I think it's by John Williamson. I don't know the words. It's a bit 'Aussie Aussie' for my liking. Maybe Bob Bolton can help?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Helen
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM

Here are the lyrics and a midi for Give me a Home among the Gum Trees

It's used as the theme song for a television programme here (in Oz) about gardening - I'm not sure who sings it - could be John Williamson but it could be a band.

http://www.att.virtualclassroom.org/vc98/vc_14/gingin/gumtrees.html

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: GUEST,John
Date: 21 Jul 00 - 01:30 AM

The "Bushwhackers" made it famous in the land of OZ.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: alison
Date: 21 Jul 00 - 01:38 AM

every bush band that has done a recording of Aussie songs has probably done it........

I usually get the job of doing the action while the others play.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: Lyr Add: (GIVE ME A) HOME AMONG THE GUM TREES
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jul 00 - 03:36 AM

"(GIVE ME A) HOME AMONG THE GUM TREES"

Written by W. Johnson/B. Brown (Mushroom Music)
Reprinted by permission


This site best heard with . . . (click to play) (doesn't work for me)


1	I've been around the world
A couple of times, or maybe more,
I've seen the sights, I've had delights
On ev'ry foreign shore,
But when my friends all ask me
The place that I adore,
I tell them right away.

CHORUS
Give me a home among the gum trees,
With lots of plum trees,
A sheep or two, a kangaroo.
A clothesline out the back,
Verandah out the front
And an old rocking chair.


2 You can see me in the kitchen
Cooking up a roast,
Or vegemite on toast,
Just you and me, a cup of tea.
Later on, we'll settle down,
And mull up on the porch
And watch the possums play.

CHORUS
3. There's a Safeway on the corner
And a Woolworths down the street,
And a New World's just been opened
Where they regulate the heat,
But I'd trade them all tomorrow
For the simple bush retreat
Where the kookaburras call.
CHORUS

4 Some people like their houses
With fences all around,
Others live in mansions,
And some beneath the ground,
But me, I like the bush, you know,
With rabbits running round
And a pumpkin vine out the back.
CHORUS.
CODA
And an old rocking chair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: alison
Date: 21 Jul 00 - 04:01 AM

doesn't work for me either Joe,.. I've just sent Alan the MIDI .. it'll appear at Mudcat MIDIs soon

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 00 - 08:47 PM

Aussie Aussie?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Helen
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 04:20 AM

McGrath,

If I say Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! will it mean anything to you? (sorry, not relevant at all, but couldn't resist)

Think I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen compared with one of the really authentic Irish songs. I would call it a "manufactured" song, e.g. The Spice Girls are a "manufactured" band, and so were The Monkees - manufactured by someone who saw a niche in the market and created a band and songs to fit it for the purpose of making money rather than for the purpose of making music for music's sake.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Callie
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 04:45 AM

You know - like we're all fair dinkum and have roos in the backyard and drive Holdens. And drink a shitload of beer. That's Aussie Aussie. i don't know anyone like that (except the beer bit).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: robroy
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 10:56 AM

Never heard the Bushwackers sing it. But perhaps you meant BULLAMAKANKA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 11:50 AM

I thought you might mean something like that. By the time Aussies get over to England, they mostly seem to turn out a little bit that way. I think it happens en route. I used to live near Earls Court.

But without listening to the song, it reads is if it's pretty tongue-in-cheek - vegemite on toast and all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: alison
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:39 AM

Bullamakanka sang a version of it as the theme tune for "Burkes Backyard".. an Aussie gardening/ lifestyle/ infotainment type program.....

but many others have done it too

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Callie
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 07:19 PM

No - sadly, it's not tongue in cheek. At least I've never heard it performed that way. And audiences don't respond to it tongue in cheek either.

I think it's a real shame that such jingoistic, shallow songs are widely known to the exclusion of more meaningful songs which tell you a lot more about the culture in question.

Callie (in irritation that real songs about Australia aren't more widely heard)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 08:01 PM

Well I'm for Marmite rather than Vegemite of course. But I think I can spot a tongue in a cheek. Doesn't mean it's not a sincere tongue in cheek - what I mean is, whoever wrote the song is aware that he's putting on a bit of an act. I don't mean he's knocking the icons he mentions.

Can't see it as in any way jingoistic, in itself. A sentimental self-mocking bit of nostalgia I'd call it. A pity if it gets sung in a jingoistic context, but a song can't help the people who sing it.

But for modern Australian songs that noone could call jingoist or shallow Enda Kenny is the man! (And I betcha he'd put a different perspective on that song if he ever sung it! And I wouldn't put that past him either.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: KT
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 12:49 AM

Callie, what more meaningful songs would you suggest? I know just a few Australian folk tunes, but would love to learn some that Aussies would be happy to hear when they are not in their own country.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Callie
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 01:32 AM

KT: I have to tell you I'm probably not yer typical Aussie. Also, a lot of the grass-roots folk remains widely unknown outside a small and devoted circle.

Instead of hearing the cheery "Road to Gundagai", i'd rather hear John Dengate's "Bare-Legged Kate", about his mother, who was born in Gundagai the same year that the cheery one was written. There's also John Warner's "Yarri" song cycle about the floods in Gundagai which are funny in parts without being glib.

It's all in the ear of the beholder, but here are some of my favourite Australian folk singers (let me know if you're interested in hearing samples - happy to post you a tape if recordings are too hard to find):

John Warner and Margaret Walters (and their group the Roaring Forties); John Dengate; The Fagans; John Benuik; Us Not Them (although a few kangas do creep in there occasionally!); The Creel; the songs of Paul Spencer; the list is endless (but I'm at work and I must end this thread!)

Callie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 02:11 AM

G'day All,

I reckon that Callie's preferences are very like mine. (I am reviewing a re-release to CD of one of John Warner's older collections The Sea and The Soil as well as his Yarri song cycle in the next issue of Mulga Wire.

I published the first book of John Dengate's song and verse (My Shout back in (~?) 1984 and enjoyed his performance at The Loaded DogThe Fagans (senior, at least) were in the audience and Us Not them are on in a concert later this month.

I guess that Give me a home amongst the gumtrees is not as bad as it could be (I used to introduce it, when we were into "potboilers" as "A plea for tradional elements among Australian native gardens - Give me a gnome amonst the gum trees ... Er well ...) Anyway, have a look at this horror that appeared on a recent thread (now, we hope, slowly sinking in Sydney Harbour. (and Callie referred it towards me!)

My 1st Blue Clicky!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 02:15 AM

G'day again,

All right ... the blue clicky refuses to work for me and I realise I have been mean to Callie ... she only referred this thread to me!

And my html stills leaves out the odd (vital) character ...!

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Callie
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 02:28 AM

Hi Bob (or is that "hi Bob!" in italics?!)

No bad intention: you're just one of the fountains of knowledge on Australian music. Thought you'd be able to provide the words at the drop of a hat (whether you liked them or not!)

I had to miss John's performance on Saturday night unfortunately. I particularly wanted to hear Sue Gee. Oh well ... I'll have to be content with another playing of "Follies for Pollies" when I get home!

cheers (cobber!)

Callie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 02:45 AM

G'day yet again,

Callie: No problem ... other than that my mind was still reeling from the song requested by PoohBear in the Lyr/Chords Req: Sydney Harbour Ferry Boat thread a few days back. The offending song turns out to be an Irish attempt to write something atmospheric about a Sydney Harbour Ferry ride ... I am still shuddering!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Callie
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 03:28 AM

I've never had the pleasure of hearing that one. By the way Bob, I guess you've heard the Sensitive New Age Cowpersons' National Anthem? (excuse the thread creep!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Helen
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 12:18 AM

Bob, your blue clicky didn't work because there was repetition of the first part of the address.

This one should work (I hope)

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=23573

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 03:14 AM

G'day all,

Helen: Thanks for patching that up ... I thought I just filled in the areas in the formula that (Joe Offer?) posted a week or two back - apparently I missed or doubled up somewhere - I will analyse that one when I get finished with this issue of Mulga Wire.

Callie: I have seen the Sensitive New Age Cowpersons twice but not heard their national anthem ... National anthems are pretty fair game!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Helen
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 07:45 PM

Hi Bob,

This is what your link address looked like. A simple cut-&-paste error, I would say. Elementary, my dear Watson.

http://http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=23573

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 11:47 PM

Er ... G'day Helen,

I see clearly where I mucked it up! I should beat the formula down past my short-term memory so that I don't expose myself to the risk of such errors. (The trouble is that long term memory has to fight for space nowadays.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Helen
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 01:39 AM

Well, Bob, you could do what I do and by-pass the memory bit altogether.

I keep the html code in an e-mail I saved in an inbox folder labelled "Keep these". I just open up the e-mail, copy the code, paste it into the thread and then paste the correct internet address in the appropriate place. There are probably other places on my computer where I can keep the code but the e-mail window opens automatically with the Netscape window so it's there whenever I need it.

Helen, well, I think that's my name, as far as I recall (BG)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 03:01 AM

G'day Helen,

Well that is (more or less)what I did - I saved the formula to a word file and left it where I could get it quickly ... I just did not look closely enough at the compatability of the section I highlighted and the selection with which I replaced it.

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 12:25 AM

I heard this during the newscast this week of the memorial service to Steve Irwin. The messages above seem to be dismissive of its apparent sentimentality so I thought I'd add a bit about its background.

Joe Offer has given the only substantive info about is origins when he wrote, above, "(GIVE ME A) HOME AMONG THE GUM TREES" Written by W. Johnson/B. Brown (Mushroom Music) Reprinted by permission

I first came across this song on an LP (no discographic details come to mind) featuring the songs of an Eltham/Christmas Hills/Warrandyte celebrity known as "Captain Rock"; one of the two names given by Joe may be Captain Rock's real name but I don't know. The LP belonged to Disie Bragg who was, at the time (1981), part of the Eltham/Christmas Hills/Warrandyte folk scene. Not many copies of the LP were made. Disie played it for me and I thought the track was worth including in Flying Pieman's repertoire; when I played it for them they also dismissed it. Disie then loaned the LP to John Rasmussen who, with my brother Marshall, played in Smith's Gully. They loved it and played it extensively.

Although Smith's Gully were a great band, they didn't perform very far from Melbourne. Bullamakanka, although not a Victorian group, somehow got the same lyrics as Smith's Gully and made the song famous around Australia, helped by Ian Macnamara's "Australia All Over" program broadcast on Sunday mornings; the song made Bullamakanka's name famous around Australia too. I once heard an interview of someone from Bullamakanka being interviewed and asked "Did you write this song?" The answer broadcast was a superb example of allowing the mantle to settle on one's shoulders without actually saying, explicitly, that it HAD been written by them. I gather they were, later, quite responsible about proper disposition of royalties

The song has never looked back since, in terms of popularity but no performance of it that I've heard has ever included the middle verse that Captain Rock sang on his LP. The liner notes he wrote mentioned that he was sitting in the loo at the Louvre, feeling homesick. In this mood, he wrote the song. The middle verse was all in French and was untranslatable into anything in English that made any sense. Never having met Captain Rock, I've never been able to ask whether the 'French' he sang was really random phrases from the graffiti on the walls of the dunny but I think it likely.

Perhaps this may change some people's attitudes to the song; perhaps it may reinforce them. But I'd love to hear it sung with the middle verse included.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:56 AM

Damn it Rowan!

You've just doomed yourself to tracking down "the LP belong(ing) to Disie Bragg" of the songs of an Eltham/Christmas Hills/Warrandyte celebrity known as "Captain Rock". (Not my territory ... the last time I was in Warrandyte was about 1966 - to buy a very accurate .22" calibre semi-automatic rifle ... but that's another story!)

I guess that a lot of the "messages above seem to be dismissive of its apparent sentimentality" - but bands I was in (say: 1980s, et seq) all did it ... with the right audiences (more likely a bunch of kids or teenagers - than the annual conference of the Australian Folk Lore Society!). We had fun with it - always treated it as something less than serious ... indeed, with a measure of McGrath's "tongue-in-cheek" - but it was a good fun way to get kids thinking about the 99.9% of Australia outside of the capital cities. In a way I regret the popularity of the re-jigged version for the Burke's Backyard program, since it moves a bit away from that aspect of the original - but the song'e a lot of fun.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:27 PM

I heard it on Steve Irwin's memorial celebration (calling it a service does it an injustice), and I knew I'd come across the word somewhere, and this is where it turns out.

The way it was sung demonstrated how it's possible to have a tongue in cheek and a tear in the eye at the same time. Some people have trouble doing that, and that's a bit of a shame.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 08:21 PM

"it's possible to have a tongue in cheek and a tear in the eye at the same time"

... something which is VERY AUstralian, just ask any Aussie infantryman... and why MASH was so popular in Australia.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 10:41 PM

Like Bob, when I first heard it I was taken with it, which is why I wanted Flying Pieman to 'do' it. But I was overruled, so Smith's Gully got the guernsey. I suppose the best description I could give to it now is that, like many great songs, it's become hackneyed.

Foolestroupe is right about this aspect of Australianness. Without wishing to engage in thread creep, another news broadcast I heard about three weeks ago included the sendoff of some Australian troops to Iraq. The music the military band was playing was unmistakeably the tune to a song we sang when I was a cut lunch commando in the '60s. It may have had a name but was never allowed in public. cos the words were

"We're a pack of bast**ds, bast**ds are we.
We're from Australia,
the arsehole of the world, and all the universe,
Oh, we're a pack of bast**ds, bast**ds are we.
We'd rather f*** than fight
for liberty.

Times have changed if they celebrate publicly with that song.

To get back to the thread. I never taped that LP (and I had similar lack of success with wanting Flying Pieman to do "The lighthose keeper's bicycle" either) but I might be able to track the LP down at Christmas, if the 2003 fires let it escape.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Andrez
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM

Captain Rock was of course Wally Johnson who used to sing around the Eltham, Chrissy Hills, St Andrews district at that time. I dont know what happened to him since that time but if there is the interest I know exactly who would know and can find out.

My other 5 cents worth with all respect to the Pieing Flymen and the Smiths Gully band is that my recollection of the song was associated with Dave Isom one of the founders of the Bushwacker band doing it at his gigs around town. My sense of the thing is that it predates the 1981 reference in the post above but it may have been contemporary. I lived in the district for 10 years from the mid 70's.

Curiously enough I came back to live the area after all these years this year and and actually came in time for a Christmas Hills festival revival earlier this year and went along with my 12 year old daughter just to see who I could see after some 20-30 years. Time does scary stuff to us all methinks!

Cheers,

Andrez

PS: As I think anout it now I have another vague recollection about some story about Wally and a fatal car accident all those years ago. Hopefully I'm wrong about that. I'd hate to think that Wally might read this and hear that he was dead.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 04:02 AM

I've got a version of this on a CD called 'A Taste of Australia' by a band called Bloodwood. A catchy little ditty and all good harmless fun as far as I can see.
All the usual suspects are present and correct on the CD in question:
'Click Go The Shears', 'Overlanders', 'Pub With No Beer', 'Botany Bay' and two different versions of 'Waltzing Matilda'among others.
There's even a version of the Sainted Rolf's 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down' which, I reckon, more than any other song helped shape British ideas of what Australians were like. For better or worse.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 04:56 AM

G'day Dave,

Back on (or just after ...) my 14th birthday, back in nineteen mumblety-nine, my parents took me out for a day at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. As we wandered about, we came across a crowd gathered around the Kangaroo Enclosure. Inside the pen was this bearded bloke waving about a rectangular slab of Masonite (a particle board) and singing about kangaroos (... or smoking and drinking - since the 'B' side of the record he was flogging was "My Two Amigos - Nick O'Tine and Al K Hole").

I climbed a tree and took some photos with a miniscule "spy' (16mm) camera I had wanted for my birthday ... and, after the promotion for his 'novelty record' Rolf sought me out to ask about the little camers (he is a keen photographer). He gave me a souvenir 'wobble board' - and I sent him very small prints of his promotional gig!

Rolf has always been an approachable bloke: some years back, my wife was regularly booking "bush bands" to perform in Sydney;s historic "Rocks" area ... and Rolf, when he was in town, liked to amble up and join in with them ... That is, until his agent found out - and demanded that he immediately cease to be seen performing free ... or looking as if it was all fun - and not something for which the agent could demand an astronomical fee!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 05:19 AM

Hi Bob,

I've always thought Rolf came across as an honest, down-to-earth, what-you-see-is-what-you-get sort of a bloke. I have fond memories of watching him on Saturday nights on BBC-TV, in the far-off days when you actually had to have talent to be on TV.
More recently we tried to get Rolf for a special appearance at the Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival but, alas, he was a bit beyond our budget.
And 'Nick O'Tine and Al K Hole' is an insanely catchy song. Now you've reminded me of it I'll be singing it for the rest of the day...

Cheers,

Dave


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 07:02 PM

Greetings Andrez,
As one who was interested in who was doing what and with whom (mostly about dances and concertinas), and who had friends who did the catering for the Bushwackers gigs I am fairly certain that the Bushwackers ( or their other manifestation "The Sundowners") didn't do the song until well after Smith's Gully had been playing it widely. Being at Steiglitz (60 miles west of Melbourne) and then an inner-suburbs (Moreland/Brunswick/Carlton/Fitzroy/Northcote) person, my main contact with the Eltham/Christmas Hills/Warrandyte scene was via Disie and my brother.

I didn't meet Disie until 1981 and, from her, I gathered that the LP had had only a limited circulation and the the song wasn't sung. When Smith's Gully took on the song Marshall was quite keen on it for its 'newness' and lack of prior appearance in the repertoire.

You might be correct that Dave did it but I never heard him do it, not even at Nariel. Your description of Dave as an original member of the Bushwackers reminds me of two stories. I had been involved in the early Boree Log sessions that led to the later establishment (separately) of both the Melbourne Uni Folk Club and the Bushwackers in the mid 60s. About ten years ago Dobe Newton was being interviewed by the Tamworth ABC at the Country Music Festival and was asked whether he had been an original member of the Bushwackers. His answer was a perfect imitation of a politician and very similar in its effect to the one given by Bullamakanka when asked when they had written the song we're talking about. Dobe was a later addition.

The other story concerns the frequent progress of band membership. The Bushwackers went from strength to strength but took its toll on some. As I understand it, Dave was the first of the original members (those who'd stayed the distance to become professional, anyway) to tire of band requirements. When he left, all the others wanted to keep on performing, and do so as "The Bushwackers". Dave, prudent accountant that he was, had taken the trouble to register the band's name and they weren't going to be able to do so without a proper financial transaction transferring the name from Dave the rest of them. All done and dusted.

Dave did a few solo gigs but gradually, more and more Bushwackers left. After a while Dave seemed keen to be part of a band again and several of the ex Bushwackers coalesced around him to form a band called The Sundowners. They also were very successful, as you'd expect. So successful, in fact, that after some time (as I understand it) Dave again became tired of being part of a band, and decided to leave. Trouble was, the rest wanted to keep performing as The Sundowners. Guess what happened next!

Well, they did, and Dave (because he also owned the tapes of performances of both bands) made a handsome effort of doing solo gigs with a wonderful set of backing tapes. What you might call the best of both worlds. Wonderful!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 09:30 PM

G'day Rowan,

I hope it wasn't your mate Dave who monstered the organisers of the 2002 (?) Illawarra Folk Festival and threatened them with crippling legal injuctions to stop four of the surviving members of the first and defining "Bush Band: The (original) Bushwhackers Band - 1952 to 1957 from having a 50-year Reunion at the Festival.

They did manage one reunion ... absolutely packing out the second-largest venue at the 2002 [Australian] National Folk Festival ... after taking their original parts in a 'concert' version of the Sydney version (which introduced a bush band' to do the songs, instead of Melbourne's pit orchestra and soloists) of the formative musical play Reedy River ... which started the Australian Folk Revival of the 1950s. I guess the money-gougers missed that one - and weren't able to claim "retrospective rights" to the name nicked a decade later... with the attitude that they could afford to destroy anybody who didn't stump up.

Well, it's all ancient history now ... Chris Kempster died not long after ... Jack Barry is no longer confident to be involved in public performances ... Harry Kay is feeling the years ... Cec Grivas looks after his shop in Bathurst ... and Alex Hood still looks indestructable!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 03:41 AM

Greetings Bob,
I don't think anyone would put Dave and myself as "mates"; 'habitues of the folk scene over a long time' might be more accurate. I last saw him more than two decades ago and we were quite friendly as old acquantances are. Whenever I told the story about the ownership of the names it was more to demonstrate the difficulty some of have at learning lessons.

Other aspects of the (Melbourne) Bushwackers that got up a few people's noses were numerous and varied. I shared Shirley Andrews' irritation with what they did to perfectly good names for dances (such as "Waves of Tory" becoming "Waves of Bondi" and "Ninepins Quadrille" becoming "The Drongo") but put it down to their need for flaunting egotism as a marketing tool.

More problematic (for me) was their reputation for forbidding members of their band from participating in sessions in the folk scene. Given that every man jack of them had learned by participating in sessions led by others I regarded such an attitude as deplorable. It certainly didn't endear many of us to them when they tried that out on one particularly lovely fiddler. Later on the costs of such an attitude were displayed when one of them visited Canberra and came to the monthly dance at the Yarralumla Woolshed while Higgins (Higgins Municipal Bush Band) was playing. It was our habit to welcome any layers onto the stage to join us in playing, as most of our dance tunes were well known. We gave this character a mic but he was so arhythmic and out of synch that we ultimately (without drawing attention to it) turned his mic off for the evening. Their habit died abruptly when Louis McManus joined them; he was much too bright a star to be dimmed by such nonsense.

Many who attended the 1979 National in Melbourne will remember the discord when the (Melbourne) Bushwackers played their (extremely loud and electric) bracket in the concert at the Melbourne Town Hall; it got up a lot of people's noses, especially since they were quite deliberately aiming at such an effect. Some may remember that the sound system was abruptly turned off in the middle of the bracket. Apparently someone had stormed into the biobox where the mixing desk was and pulled out several power leads; they may also have made it very time consuming to restore power. I gather punches were thrown, in one case more for dramatic effect than for any damage.

Ultimately the Bushwackers stormed out and the rest of us resumed a great concert. I'm told that the Bushwackers were looking for the person who stormed the biobox with the intention of initiating a criminal prosecution. They never found out who did it and I'm not telling; it certainly wasn't me although I had enormous sympathy for the depth of thei feeling. But then, I've always had a soft spot for concertinas and sweet pipes.

And it was a couple of years after this that I first heard Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees at Disie Bragg's place.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 06:57 PM

Hello Rowan, We were moving in the same circles, I think. I lived in Warrandyte and before that Lilydale from 1963. I was born and raised in Thornbury. I was known for geting more than a little irritated about the re-naming of those dances too. I had a little-known Bush band called "Wallaby Stew". Anyway hello from a neighbour who's now gone bush. --as I sit here below a 1972 Nariel Creek poster featuring "The Original Bushwakers and Bullockies Bush Band" Funny-looking line-up it is too. (2 guitars, fiddle, tea-chest bass and a 130-year-old autoharp.)
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 11:29 PM

G'day Rowan,

Was that Melbourne contretemps in 1979 ... or 1973? I seem to remember the story going back further ... but I wasn't at the concert with the Bushwackers - either year. I do seem to remember some, less specific, aggro with the same parties at the 1972 National, in Canberra.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 01:32 AM

Greetings Bob,
The Bushwackers didn't appear at the 1973 National, which was based at Melbourne Uni. In fact the only, even remotely exciting, bit of instrumental playing at the main concert that year was a trio including Bob McInnes; for the life of me I can't recall the other two names but I think one was on mandolin. They were great but it was interesting to see how the standard of instrumental playing took off after that year. An LP was made of interesting bits of the '73 National and it may be that the trio appear on it.

The contretemps I described was definitely at the 1979 National, which was based at La Trobe Uni. The (Melbourne) Bushwackers may have been involved in prior ones but I don't know of them. Of course, their reputation (concerning their attitude towards the folk scene that had nurtured them) certainly preceded 1979.

Greetings Joybell,
Northcote south of Separation St was where I spent my primary (and Central) school youth and then I became a Thornbury lad at Northcote High. Being a boys' school we had our school socials in our school auditorium with girls from Preston Girls' High; they were extremely awkward affairs because of the lack of dancing ability. The churches in Northcote ran very successful monthly dances (which started my dancing) and I remember, as a Yr 11 (as they now call it) student, conning the teachers into running dance classes for students from both schools in our auditorium on Tuesdays after school. My favourite partner in those classes was a Joy McGregor, who sang in the choir at the Church of the Epiphany, at the top of Rukker's Hill. That helped start my singing as well.

And now I also have a home among the eucalypts (and Angophoras) although none are gum trees. And I get very careful every fire season.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Joybell
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:43 AM

Rowan!!! I went to Preston Girls' High. AND the dances at Northcote High. I remember we had to go to them. I was one of the girls hiding in the toilets until after each dance started. Did we see each other though I wonder? I was at high school between 1956 and 1961. I lived on Woolton Ave. Northcote High had big locked gates at the entrance to the sports ground but no fence at all. I always wondered about that.
I'm out on the Western plains now - grassland or used to be.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:58 PM

Greetings Joybell,

Well, well!! After doing the first two years of "post-primary" schooling at Westgarth Central I also started at Northcote High in 1956, just in time to be part of the turning out of the entire school to form an honour guard for John Cain's (senior) funeral procession; he, like Don Chipp, had attended NHS. I got the dance classes started there in 1958 and finished there in 1960, a master of the Pride of Erin, the Highland Scottische, the Barn Dance and (god help me) the Tangoette.

You may very well have met me there and you may also have met Marshall, my brother, who started there in 1958 in the same class as Normie Rowe. They were "first-formers" (or "fags", as we sixth-formers called such lower forms of life) so I can't really claim to have gone to school with such a famous singer. I don't think Normie Rowe ever sang Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees but Marshall did (as part of Smith's Gully) and now also lives in a home among them in a part of Victoria's goldfields full of folkies.

I'm now in the Australian version of New England, which has lots of Scottish names because (I gather) the original white settlers (mostly Scots) wanted in the 1840s to start a new state, governed separately from Sydney and called New Caledonia. They got part of their wish.

London's Colonial Office did set up a new state but put its border 100 miles north and called it Queensland. The Colonial Office also decreed that on any maps of what had wanted to be called New Caledonia, the largest printing would label it "New England".

But it's got lots of gum trees. And I do have a clothesline out the back. These days it's often called a solar powered clothes drier, however.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees
From: Joybell
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:59 AM

Rowan, OK. Well it's so nice to meet you again. I was actually a good dancer too. It was dancing with boys that was a problem. Scary! I did dance with some though at those same socials. It would have been in about 1958. I used to be able to do the tangoette. Because I was tall I always had to be the "boy" at Primary School - Hutton Street State - so I can't help trying to lead. Probably why I prefer set dances now. When I was in my thirties I fell in love with my banjo teacher - American - Hildebrand - he used to play at the Green Man and various other venues around Melbourne- sometimes with Greg O'Leary. Married Hildebrand and eventually moved to Western Victoria. If you ever come this way please visit. Oh, and I was in the same class as Johnny Chester's sister at High school. Isn't Mudcat grand?
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: GUEST,jdd
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 07:52 PM

Wally Johnson entered Home Among the Gum Trees in the new national anthum for Australia contest with tongue in his cheek. Sadly Wally died of a brain tumour early in the nineties. He was a very talented musician and a Hare Krishna. He taught music at the Hare Krishna school in Murwillumbah for many years along with his wife who now receives the royalties to the song annually. He was a friend of Shirley from Skyhooks. When Wal got married Shirl wrote All My Friends Are Getting Married.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: Muttley
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 08:46 PM

Gonna get creamed here, but what the hell.

KATIE - above you will find the lyrics and midi's to "Home Among the Gum Trees" and it is indeed, a song originally recorded by 'Bullamakanka' and not the 'Bushwackers' - I have a couple of albums by the latter and a songbook - not there!!!

John Williamson (and yes, I am biased), I believe does the best version - more 'rollicking and 'Aussie' without trying to sound 'over the top' about being Aussie.

HOWEVER - here's where the howls of derision will start - I have an objection to the third line of verse two: I really am uncomfortable with the drug/dope implications of "mulling up on the porch". Probably my paramedic / youthworker background and seeing too many clients / patients / family / friends die from drugs.

I prefer to sing:
"An' later on we'll settle down and go out on the porch;
An' watch the possums play"

The chords I use are:

I've [D]been around the world a couple of [Em]times and maybe [A7]more
I've [Em]seen the sights and [A7]had delights on [D]ev'ry foreign shore
But when my mates all [A7]ask me the [D]place that I adore
I [Em]tell them [A7]right a[D]way

[CHORUS]

Give me a home among the [Em]gum [A7]trees; With lots of [Em]plum [A7]trees
A [D]sheep or two, a k - [A7]kangaroo; A [D]clothes-line out the back
Ve[Em]randah out the [A7]front; And an [Em]old rocking [D]chair


There are even actions that go with the song - I use them when I sing this with school kids: I tech them the chorus and the actions that go with it and they LOVE doing the song.

I'll name the elements of the chorus that have an attached action and the action that goes with the word/term and remember that each action just flows into the next as you sing.

GUM TREES:   arms above the head, elbows slightly bent and fingers spread
PLUM TREES: As for 'gum trees' but with fingers drooping and wiggling
SHEEP:       Pointer (index) fingers circle temples (like the 'cuckoo or crazy) sign to indicate Ram's Horns
KANGAROO:    Two hands in front (begging dog) like a kangaroo's paws
CLOTHES LINE: Pointer finger of one hand held upright in front of face and describing circles pivoted from the wrist or elbow (supposed to replicate the action of an Aussie rotary clothes-line)
VERANDAH:    Arms held horizontally forward (as for when diving into a pool) and wrists bent slightly downward to indicate a "bull-nosed" iron verandah roof
ROCKING CHAIR: Simply drop the arms and rock back-and-forth where you are sitting

Hope all that helps Katie

Muttley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: to an australian song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 09:01 PM

I thought mulling up would have just meant the same as chill out - maybe having a few drinks and getting mellow, maybe not even that.

Still, I'm not an Aussie, what would I know.


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